Recently re-elected prime minister Malcolm Turnbull reportedly spent $1 million of his own money to save the Liberal Party’s 2016 election campaign.
According to The Australian, Turnbull topped up the Coalition’s bank balance in the second half of the eight-week campaign to fund its advertising strategy, which was struggling against Labor’s “Mediscare” campaign.
A source told The Australian that Turnbull’s money was a donation not a loan, and therefore was not tax deductible.
Liberal Party federal director Tony Nutt issued a statement in response to part of the report which said the party was “now either in debt or broke, pending incoming funds from pledges made during the final week of the campaign”.
Nutt said the party’s finances were “soundly managed”. The specific claim about Turnbull’s donation was not addressed, however.
Here’s the statementLiberal Party’s website.
The claim in today’s Australian that the Liberal Party is “either in debt or broke” is false.
The reporter did not put that claim to the Party before publication.
The Party’s finances are soundly managed by the Honorary Federal Treasurer, Andrew Burnes.
Donations to the Liberal Party are disclosed in accordance with the requirements of the Electoral Act.
Turnbull himself has not commented on the issue. His office said all donations would be disclosed and made public.
Political parties in Australian must disclose the identities of donors who contribute more than $13,000 each financial year.
Donations for the 2016 election campaign will be made public in February next year.
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